Apple’s batterygate fallout might translate to some cash for consumers.
In a letter Apple sent to Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-SD) on Tuesday, Apple said it is seeing “strong demand” for iPhone 6 and above replacement batteries, which Apple discounted after they admitted to throttling older iPhones in order to preserve battery life.
The even better news? Apple is “exploring” issuing rebates for customers who purchased replacement batteries at full price.
Apple sent the letter in response to an inquiry sent by Thune to Apple in January.
In the letter, acquired by The Verge, Thune asks specifically, “whether consumers who paid the full, non-discounted price for a replacement battery in an effort to restore performance should be allowed to seek a rebate for some of the purchase price.”
Apple admitted to slowing down iPhones in December 2017. The software was reportedly released in order to increase performance on phones with older batteries. But when consumers found this out, they weren’t too pleased. So Apple subsequently issued an apology and dropped the replacement battery price from $79 to $29. A rebate would give a previously unhappy Apple customers $50.
The letter also provides more details about the #batterygate timeline. Apple started exploring issues with how diminishing battery life was causing unexpected shut downs in fall 2016. It then issued a software update in February 2017 to address the unexpected shut-down problem by reducing power on (IE, slowing down) affected phones.
While Apple maintains that the update was meant to improve user experience, and not entice customers into buying new products, it nonetheless issued the apology and discounted replacement battery price at the end of 2017. According to Reuters, Apple is still under investigation for this matter in countries around the world, and by the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission for violating securities laws.